It takes someone special to see your potential and to help you see it – to show you the possibilities and to motivate you toward your individual goals. With an average tenure of 12 years, our highly credentialed and experienced instructors are the best in the world at doing just that, delivering measurable results only achievable through a fully committed, full-time faculty focused on your individual needs.
Nearly 40 years of experience with Speakeasy clients. A widely respected voice coach, who has worked with a boxing champion and a top CNN foreign correspondent. Holder of two master’s degrees. That’s Doris – a real pro. In her presence, any intimidation you might have felt melts away. In Doris’ skillful hands, you recover some of that love of learning you had long ago.
Perhaps the most important element in Doris’ biography is her love of the theater. As an accomplished actress and director, she has a great love and respect for “play”. Doris holds a Master’s in Pastoral Ministry from Loyola University in New Orleans and a Masters in Speech Pathology from Emory University. As a Distinguished Faculty member, Doris delivers all of Speakeasy’s Style-Impact Programs and private coaching. She has been an instructor with Speakeasy for 40 years, and she is a clinically certified member of the American Speech Language and Hearing Association, a member of the Georgia Speech and Hearing Association, and of Zeta Phi Eta, a national honorary society for outstanding women in speech.
Joanne is that very fit woman playing tennis, skiing, and hiking who always has stories cooking in her head… she writes fiction for fun. You might also catch her taking her Tibetan terrier for a walk. Although she took time off from Speakeasy to finish a Phd. and to establish a practice in psychology, she has been an instructor with us for a total of over 30 years.
You can expect to learn a lot from Joanne as an instructor. Her style is never pushy; she’s gentle, supportive – and tremendously effective. She has extensive experience with the workings of non-profit organizations, but much of her business savvy comes from having created and sold her own practice in speech pathology. She earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from San Francisco School of Professional Psychology. Joanne is a Principal Faculty member at Speakeasy and delivers almost all of our programs. She’s an ASHA certified speech pathologist, and is licensed both as a speech pathologist and as a clinical psychologist. She is a member of the American-Speech-Language-Hearing Association and of the California Speech and Hearing Association.
Sandra has delivers all of Speakeasy’s programs and has been conducting seminars and making presentations for the company since 1989. While Sandra has been with Speakeasy for almost 27 years, the special qualities she brings to our clients were already evident at the beginning of her career. After completing her graduate program at Columbia, she worked as an educator with students in Harlem. She thrived on challenge. She still does.
Sandra thrives on the challenge of helping Speakeasy clients meet their communication goals. She listens carefully to what you want to accomplish, and she remembers. So just when your energy flags, or your commitment waivers, she steps right in — reminding you, encouraging you, or suggesting an alternate route. That’s the kind of support you’ll get from Sandra. Her Speakeasy colleagues also experience it. As one observes, “She’s consistent and determined. She shoots straight, working hard to be sure I accomplish what I’ve told her I want to do. She stays with me until I get where I need to go.”
Doug insures that our communication and physical environment accurately reflect our corporate image and values. He also provides instruction, private coaching, and design and consulting services to Speakeasy’s clients on presentation content and visual support issues, and heads all design efforts delivered through our Visual Communication Group. He brings to this multi-faceted role a background in graphic, advertising, architectural and interior design. The processes he uses in working with Speakeasy’s clients are derived from almost forty years of experience in developing communication through all of these mediums. With Doug as your guide, you feel equipped for your own exploration
To his colleagues Doug has another title: adventurer – curious about cultures and creatures, especially marine creatures. Doug received a dual Bachelors of Environmental Design and Architecture from Auburn University. He serves as Chair for our Core Curriculum Committee and has been working with Speakeasy on communication and content planning issues for almost 35 years.
Pat knows your voice. As a Speakeasy instructor, Pat brings 30 years of clinical experience evaluating and treating adults with communication disorders. As a clinician, Pat has insight into how a person can best change a behavior. It highlights her commitment to creating a safe and comfortable environment for personal growth and experimentation. Pat also held management roles for the past 25 years, making her intimately familiar with the demands executives face. Her coaching is all about understanding the uniqueness of each individual client. Pat says, “every person has potential inside of them they have not yet tapped.” Pat brings a gift for drawing out a person’s distinct communication strengths to help them build their own individual style.
Pat holds B.S. and Master’s degrees in Speech-Language Pathology, both from the University of Minnesota, and is a licensed speech-language pathologist, certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. She was a charter Board Recognized Specialist in Swallowing and has served on the Executive Board of the Georgia Speech-Language-Hearing Association and is a current member of the Voice Special Interest Division, the Association for Talent Development and the National Association of Female Executives.
Paula takes a very active approach to life. When something interests her, she finds a way to try it. When Paula guides you, you know you have her full attention. She is on your side one hundred percent and her patience is unlimited. Her background has given her special expertise in speech and voice – she is a clinically certified speech pathologist – and has a special appreciation for the demands of the business world. She has had extensive experience in banking, telecommunications and IT.
Paula earned a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from the University of North Carolina in Greensboro and a Masters in Communication Disorders from North Carolina Central University. She spent five years as a speech pathologist in the public school system working with the secondary student population. She is a clinically certified member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and of the Georgia Speech and Hearing Association. She has licensure as a speech pathologist in two states – California and Georgia. Paula serves as Speakeasy’s SVP of Faculty and Dean of Curriculum.
Alex Cohen knew he wanted to be involved with something different – a group that bridged the power of the spoken word with personal development in the business world. His search – and his hope of finding a career that combined two of his passions – eventually led him to Speakeasy!
Alex Cohen has a breathtaking array of accomplishments. He’s bilingual. English is his first language; Spanish is the language he taught himself. He worked for five years in both languages as a Speech-Language Pathologist with the Dignity Health Medical Group. Alex holds a Masters of Arts in Communication Disorders and Sciences from San Jose University. He’s traveled extensively in Central and South America, and, also, in Europe and Asia. In fact, he’s lived in ten different cities and traveled to over forty countries. He holds a sky-diving license, enjoys bungee jumping, snowboarding, scuba diving, surfing and camping.
Alexis Holman discovered Speakeasy by reading the sign on our Atlanta office building. Wondering what kind of company this was, did some internet sleuthing, and found her next job. As a fully qualified speech-language pathologist, she’s found her purpose in her profession and says, “I love facilitating getting people from point A to point B – knowing that I’ve helped someone and seeing the impact of that.”
Alexis serves as Speakeasy’s Director of Faculty Operations. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Education with a major in Communicative Sciences and Disorders from the University of Georgia and a Masters of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology from the University of Memphis. Since attaining her degrees, she has worked in private practice with clientele ranging from pediatric to geriatric populations in day care facilities and homes in Charlotte, N.C., and also in schools, clinics, skilled nursing facilities, and assisted living facilities in Atlanta, GA. Alexis is clinically certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, and is also certified in Compton’s PESL accent modification by the Institute of Language and Phonology.
When David summarizes his military career, you get a hint of his special brand of humor. As he puts it, “I always wanted to travel, so I joined the Marines and ended up going to the desert.” His colleagues at Speakeasy admire his four-year military experience in which he served in Iraq on two seven-month tours. David says his biggest passion is food. He learns about other cultures through eating different foods and is currently interested in Ethiopian and Indian cuisines. David also loves stand-up comedy, comedy in general, and making people laugh.
He spent two years doing clinical therapy in nursing homes and subacute rehabs before joining Speakeasy. Since Speakeasy is a global company, he’s thrilled by the opportunity it offers to see more of the world. After his military career, David studied to become a speech pathologist at William Paterson University in Wayne, New Jersey. He is a licensed SLP in California and New Jersey, and a member of the American Speech and Hearing Association with a Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech Pathology.
Peter Kristensson must be the most global instructor at Speakeasy. As he says, “I’m the person who required the most miles in order to complete my training.” He’s lived in eight countries, is fluent in Swedish, English and French; has a good comprehension of Norwegian, Danish and Dutch; has studied Spanish and Mandarin, but says he needs a lot of work for comprehension in those two.
Initially, Peter joined Speakeasy in a business development role. When he went through one of Speakeasy’s style programs, he experienced his biggest “a-ha” moment in learning to increase his listener awareness. “That changes every conversation you have from that day forward.” His desire to teach was driven by his desire for self-development and by a desire “to be a part of the magic we create in the classroom.” What fuels his passion? “Seeing that each person who comes to us leaves as a better version of themselves.” Peter holds a Bachelor of Science degree with a concentration in Human Resources from The Hotel School of Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. and a M.B.A. from Texas A&M- Commerce. He is a Beta Gamma Sigma honor society member.
After graduating from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Masters program in 2012, Ryan began working in the acute care medical field. On moving to Atlanta, he returned to patient care as an SLP with Northside Hospital. As much as he liked the work, he found himself checking out alternative careers in speech pathology. He found what he was looking for on the Web at Speakeasy where the emphasis was on mastering interpersonal communication in everyday life. “At Speakeasy,” he says, “I really enjoy seeing personal growth and when I see people becoming aware of their progress, I see a ‘spark’ that makes me happy.”
Originally from Chattanooga, TN, Ryan loves travel. In his free time, it should be easy to find him with his friends at music or food festivals. He also spends a significant amount of time in the gym and in physical fitness activities which he uses for a meditation space – a place where he can develop a sense of centered-self when stressed.
Ryan, although a nutritional health nut, admits to having “the biggest sweet tooth.” But you can’t bribe him with chocolate. It takes gummy bears and sour patch kids!
After graduating from Northwestern University, Masters Program in 2014, Sarah began working in special education as a lead speech pathologist of Oakland Unified School District. Sarah has over 6 years of experience in Speech Language-Pathology. She discovered her passion for speech pathology during her undergraduate years at UC Berkeley when she realized the impact speech pathology had to offer. Consequently, the native Californian turned in her surfboard for snow boots. When she moved to Illinois to receive her master’s in Speech Pathology from Northwestern University, she knew this was her passion. Sarah also has experience helping the elderly population with swallowing therapy and outpatient service.
Sarah is patient and motivating in the classroom. She strives to help others in their journey with personal development and growth. Her favorite part about Speakeasy is that this isn’t just a work thing-it’s a life-changing journey to how people view communication in general. Sarah’s youthful approach to life allows her to try new endeavors. She is always up for a challenge. Despite tearing her ACL twice, she is always up for the opportunity to beat someone in a soccer match.
After working for five years as a research director for developmental psychologists, Annie started her clinical career in Speech Language Pathology. For 25 years she was employed by the Johns Hopkins Hospital system in St. Petersburg, Florida. There she served clinically, seeing patients and families and establishing the pediatric cochlear implant program. Following that, Annie held a leadership role, as Clinical Coordinator for Rehabilitative Services. In this capacity she coordinated clinical education activities and headed professional development, focusing on building high-performance teams.
After dedicating so many years to the health care system, Annie made the decision to take a hiatus in 2019. It was during this time that Annie explored her other passions. You could find her as your tour guide at the Chihuly Museum, or working on her own art pieces, experimenting with a variety of mediums. Due to her love and talent for interior design, she also used this time to work with friends to refresh and beautify their homes. Annie is the definition of a renaissance woman. Fast Forward to 2020, Annie was looking for a challenge; a way to use her skills and expertise in a new way. Although she adored Florida, she decided to take a leap of faith and move to Atlanta to begin her journey with Speakeasy. Annie strives to keep herself centered and grounded. She loves yoga, breathwork, and meditation. She finds when she takes time every morning to pour into herself, she is primed to pour everything she has into her Speakeasy clients.
Pascale has worked for over 21 years with a wide gamut of the disordered adult population in a variety of medical settings ranging from acute care to home health. Her professional love has been working with voice and swallowing patients and supporting head and neck cancer survivors. After dedicating so many years to clinical care, Pascale realized she was being called to serve others in a different way.
Being of Haitian descent, Pascale enjoys music from around the world – especially music from the Caribbean. You may find her having a dance party or singing her heart out in her living room. Her at-home karaoke setup is nothing short of phenomenal. Her family is the source of her pride and joy. Pascale has been married to her college sweetheart for 23 years. She and her husband, Ebon have two children, Jayden and Mayah. They love to spend quality time outdoors – skiing, hiking, kayaking, or playing fetch with their new Labrador retriever. Pascale also volunteers in leading a youth group through the confirmation process and teaches Sunday school at her church.